Mother-Child Discrepancies on Children's Anxiety Symptoms: Relations with Maternal Depression, Anxiety, and Time Spent with the Child
Pascarella, Lauren A.
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There is a great deal of literature that has shown discrepancies between parent-and child-report of children’s anxiety symptoms and various factors contributing to such discrepancies have been examined. However, findings have not come to a clear understanding when it comes to factors related to informant discrepancies and the most appropriate statistical procedure. The aim of this study was to examine factors associated with informant discrepancy by using a more recent statistical approach. This study examined maternal depressive and anxiety symptoms in relation to parent-and child-report of children’s anxiety symptoms. In addition, there is limited research examining the quantity of parent-child relationships on discrepant reporting. The current study examined the amount of time the mother spends with the child in relation to discrepant reporting. Other correlates of interest in the study included child age, gender, and SES of the family. Most studies have not examined factors associated with discrepancies on anxiety scales, so the current study examined not only total anxiety, but also the scales of the Multidimensional Anxiety Scale for Children 2nd Edition (MASC 2) parent and child versions. Results of this study found that maternal anxiety, not maternal depression, was associated with discrepant reporting. A reporting pattern was seen on child anxiety symptoms in relation to maternal anxiety in which mother scores were high and child scores were low on the MASC 2 when maternal anxiety scores were higher. However, no anxiety scales, only Total Anxiety Score, was found to be significant on the quadratic or linear interaction term when analyzing maternal anxiety and discrepancies. Time spent with the child was not found to be significant, although a trend toward significance was seen. No significant findings were found for gender or SES. Although the child’s age was not significant on the quadratic term, it was found to be significant on the linear interaction term, with a pattern of younger children reporting more symptoms than that of their mother.